On Aug. 24, 1814, British troops marched into Washington, D.C. and tried to burn our nation’s capital to the ground. They did a pretty good job, but as a nation we were able to rebuild in relatively short order. I am afraid our current crop of representatives will accomplish that which the British military failed to complete.
Over these past few weeks we have endured the Democratic Party’s impeachment inquiry, but this is yet another event that only serves to illustrate the paralysis that has consumed D.C. While this absurdity has played out, discussions on the budget, immigration, health care, infrastructure, and a host of other topics haven’t just been put on the back burner but taken off the stove almost altogether.
People will take exception with my choice of words such as “endured” and absurdity” because they will claim that, after all, the impeachment inquiry is all about “the integrity of our democracy.” No, it is not. That shipped sailed a long time ago. If we were really concerned about the sanctity of our national institutions, half the people currently serving in D.C. wouldn’t have been elected. The truth is we only seem to care about our institutions when the “other guy” is in power.
We have been told that polls show support for removing President Trump. That may have been true at some point (by a slim margin), but a new Emerson poll shows support for impeachment has flipped, especially among independent voters. This same poll also shows Trump’s approval rating has increased in the last month with 48% approval (https://tinyurl.com/impeachsupportdeclines). The media narrative and the inconsistency of the polls show a disconnect on so many levels.
While the polls seem to be moving in a direction that is in defiance of the constant mainstream media drum beat, many of the same media outlets report the topic of impeachment is barely being discussed by the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire during candidate town halls. This mixed message is not only fascinating, but symptomatic of what many have been saying publicly since the word “impeachment” was first uttered. Where you stood on impeachment at the start of this process is most likely where you will be standing at the end of the inquiry.
We have been building toward this course of action since Nov. 9, 2016 (maybe even before the election). The impeachment inquiry was a show that featured therapy dogs brought in to comfort stressed out congressional staffers, and a drag queen named Pissi Myles crashing the proceedings. Instead of a robust defense of our national institutions that we were promised, we got puppy petting and the D.C. version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Most in our nation are burnt out from the constant chaos that is now the everyday condition of D.C., even more so during the impeachment inquiry. Those not burnt out have checked out. We are frustrated by the uselessness of most of our current elected representatives. Is it any wonder the candidacy of Mayor Pete Buttigieg is surging? It is amazing what happens when you stick to kitchen table issues and make an earnest effort to offer a positive message.
I do not agree with specific actions by Trump. It was clearly political and self-serving to request an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Not that Biden’s actions are without suspicions, but the timing clearly points to political motivations, and not one merely of justice. If the president and those in the justice department were concerned about the Biden-Ukraine connection, they should have acted when the matter was discovered early in the Trump administration.
For those that support the president, there is a very serious problem with the withholding of funds to our ally the Ukrainians, due in part to the timing and the methods applied. Please stop yelling at the paper, TV or your left-leaning family members like Col. Nathan R. Jessep (“A Few Good Men”), replacing the line “check the tower logs” with “read the transcript.” It is a weak defense of the president’s actions in this matter.
For the Democrats, this is what the past two-plus years have been about. Kavanaugh, Mueller and now impeachment. It was always about correcting what the Democrats perceived to be an injustice. The transparent disdain for President Trump has tainted any illusion of integrity the Democrats claim has been the guiding principle of this partisan crusade against Trump.
We are one year away from a general election. Were Trump’s actions worthy of a congressional censure? Probably. In 2020, should the voters consider Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine (or any of his actions during his presidency)? By definition, that is exactly what is expected of voters, in this or any election. Will President Trump be convicted by the U.S. Senate? Of course he won’t. Which begs the question, why did we put the country through this process only to end up where we started?
Our elected representatives in D.C. may not have literally burned down the seat of our government like the British tried to do in 1814, but the symbolism of the actions by today’s representatives cannot be ignored. Washington is burning and all we have is an empty bucket.